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Explaining The New Double-A Structure Entering The 2021 Minor League Season


The Double-A Northeast League consists of 11 of the 12 teams that comprised the former Double-A Eastern League. The lone exception is Somerset, formerly a member of the independent Atlantic League, which replaces Trenton.

The Yankees moved their Double-A operation from Trenton, with whom they had affiliated since 2003, to another New Jersey city about 20 miles closer to the Bronx. The organization said it preferred the player development facilities available at Somerset.

2020 League (Lvl)
AkronCLEEastern (AA)
AltoonaPITEastern (AA)
BinghamtonNYMEastern (AA)
BowieBALEastern (AA)
ErieDETEastern (AA)
HarrisburgWSHEastern (AA)
HartfordCOLEastern (AA)
New HampshireTOREastern (AA)
PortlandBOSEastern (AA)
ReadingPHIEastern (AA)
RichmondSFEastern (AA)


Banished from affiliated ball, Trenton turned down an offer to assume the vacated Atlantic League opening created by Somerset signing its Player Development License with the Yankees. Trenton was initially slated to operate in the MLB Draft League, a 68-game showcase league for draft-eligible prospects. However, the domino effect caused by the continued closure of the Canadian border led Trenton to host the Blue Jays’ Triple-A team while the big league club plays at Sahlen Field in Buffalo.


The 10-team Double-A Central League takes the eight teams of former Double-A Texas League and adds two franchises that were operating at Triple-A but had roots in the TL.

San Antonio had been a member of the Texas League almost continuously since 1946 until shifting to Triple-A in 2019. The franchise returns to its TL roots in 2021, while also rekindling a familiar affiliation with the Padres, with which it had partnered from 2007 to 2018.

The Wichita Wranglers operated as a Texas League franchise from 1987 to 2007 before relocating to Northwest Arkansas. The city of Wichita returns to its TL roots as the Wind Surge after relocating and reclassifying from New Orleans of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. Wichita joins the Double-A Central League and will open brand-new Riverfront Stadium.

2020 League (Lvl)
AmarilloARITexas (AA)
ArkansasSEATexas (AA)
Corpus ChristiHOUTexas (AA)
FriscoTEXTexas (AA)
MidlandOAKTexas (AA)
Northwest ArkansasKCTexas (AA)
San AntonioSD
Pacific Coast (AAA)
SpringfieldSTLTexas (AA)
TulsaLADTexas (AA)
Pacific Coast (AAA)

*Relocated from New Orleans


San Antonio switches leagues, classifications and affiliations. The Missions operated as a Triple-A Pacific Coast League affiliate of the Brewers in 2019 and 2020 before once again teaming up with the Padres and returning to its roots among other former Texas League clubs.

The new Wichita franchise, which had been affiliated with the Marlins as New Orleans of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, is now an affiliate of the Twins after relocating to Kansas.

Amarillo switches affiliations from the Padres to D-backs.

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The eight-team Double-A South League is a slimmed-down version of what was the Double-A Southern League. Two teams did not make the jump. Jacksonville retains its Marlins affiliation but graduates to the Triple-A East League, while the Jackson franchise was dropped from affiliated ball.

The Rocket City franchise begins play in 2021 after its planned inaugural season of 2020 was wiped away by the pandemic. The club had operated in Mobile, Ala., from 1997 to 2019. Rocket City returns affiliated baseball to the Madison, Ala., area, where its team name pays homage to the area’s association with the space industry.

Nearby Huntsville previously operated as a Southern League franchise from 1985 to 2014.

2020 League (Lvl)
BiloxiMILSouthern (AA)
BirminghamCWSSouthern (AA)
ChattanoogaCINSouthern (AA)
MississippiATLSouthern (AA)
MontgomeryTBSouthern (AA)
PensacolaMIASouthern (AA)
Rocket City*LAASouthern (AA)
TennesseeCHCSouthern (AA)

*Relocated from Mobile


Pensacola switches affiliations from the Twins to Marlins, giving Miami three of its four full-season affiliates based in Florida.

The Jackson franchise in Tennessee was eliminated after functioning as a Double-A Southern League franchise from 1998 to 2020.

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